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Almost 300.000 people in 417 “informal settlements” (precarios in Spanish) live in poor conditions according to the study “Hogares en asentamientos informales, ¿quiénes son y cómo viven?“ – Households in informal settlements, who are they and how do they live?” – by Costa Rica’s census and statistics board, the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos (INEC).

The study cites poor sanitary conditions, homes made of tin, problems with access to fresh water and electricity and the risk of people surrounded by violence and insecurity.

The research, based on the 2011 Census results, found that some 80.000 families live in precarios.

Although, at least for the majority living in the Central Valley, the areas that come to mind immediately are Lomas (Pavas), La Carpio and Leon XIII, the study shows aras like Miramar (Puntarenas), Cuidad Quesada (San Carlos), Puriscal, Liberia (Guanacaste) and Limón, all have informal settlements.

According to the INEC sociologist, Sofia Mora, there was an increase of 5% between 2000 and 2011.

The director of Detección y Asignación de TECHO, Mauricio Mora, explained that his group and with the support of the INEC will be doing a more detailed investigation, visiting areas prone to flooding and landslides, with the objective to show the failure of pubic policy when working with informal settlements.

The results of the investigation by TECHO are expected to be presented formally on October 17, Extreme Poverty Day.